1 March 2014

"I'm happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time"

Oh, I do love a bit of Taylor Swift. I really do. Her ability to capture an age in such an accurate, catchy song... And the fact she's dated Harry Styles #dontjudgeme

In her song "22" the general message she puts forward is that it's okay to not have everything in life figured out by your early twenties. Which is great, y'know? I mean, if Taylor Swift hasn't got it figured out, of course it's okay for us mere mortals to be in the same boat.

Right?

But the one thing I can't shake as I sing along, is that I can't really compare myself to Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift is a talented (say what you like, but she's a multi-platinum artist. Call it success, call it talent, whatever), beautiful woman with legs up to *here*; girls want to be her, and guys secretly want to date her. Bless Tay-Tay - I know she tries, but she can never be down with the average 22 year old. Because she was never a typical 22 year old.

       

My first weeks as 22 have not been plain sailing. The day of my birthday I found out my brother had broken his arm skiing, my Mum had to leave work because she was ill, and my cat had found himself in the cone of shame again (don't ask). I was pretty shattered from Fashion Week (I'm not complaining - it was absolutely fantastic, just exhausting) and I woke up on my birthday feeling quite... Lonely.

My previous birthdays had been spent in the company of family pre-university, and in the company of friends during university. This was the first year I'd been without either, and as I opened my birthday presents and cards (with "22" on repeat, natch) I realised birthdays are nothing without the people you care about around you. N'aww. 

22 also brings an element of panic, as do most things in the life of a worrier like myself. A year older tends to mean another year wiser, but this year I find myself feeling more lost than ever.

I blame this on societal expectations of age. These expectations tend to extend to love, work, family and friends. Then, to top it off, the over-arching question: Are you happy? The expectations are that in life, you should gradually get closer to the ideals of being *in love*, satisfied at work, and retain close ties to family and friends.

With this in mind, here's how I currently stand on the above elements:

Love: If I want to pull, I can go to a club. The online dating world is slowly becoming more depressing and boring to me. Aren't cats great?

Work: I am doing a terrible job of balancing everything, which probably explains why I was a terrible waitress and barely managed two plates at a time, let alone 4. Job applications are going out, with rejections coming in thick and fast. Enthusiasm is being worn down as quickly as my prospects.

Family: Lovely, but unable to understand why I am single, worried that I will indeed become a mixture of crazy cat lady and Miss Havisham (although to stand a chance of being a latter there would have to have been a male involved in the first place). Also confused as to why I cannot secure a permanent job. I share their concerns.

                               

Friends: Scattered around the capital, the country and as we speak, the world. Not ideal, but always on hand if I'm in need of comfort in the form of food or a few glasses (read: bottle) of wine.

Am I happy? Is a question that I really don't understand, as I'm starting to realise that people see happiness as a tick list (i.e. Expectations of what it means to be happy) when actually I find happiness in moments and gestures more than anything, anyway. So with that in mind, I can't really answer that one.

Amongst all this, I've realised that having to deal with the ups and downs of being 22 will be an absolute nightmare if I have to do it alone. But luckily I have some absolute star friends who will simply not allow me to a sad loner, wondering why I don't have more matches on "Tinder" and wallowing in the fact London's first cat cafe is fully-booked until the end of March (!!!).

                           

So although Taylor Swift's life is a world away from mine, lines like "Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you" and "Tonight feels like one of those nights we ditch the whole scene" is a good reminder that even though we don't have it figured it out yet, we're not alone, and there's always dancing the night away to keep us sane.

                         
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1 comment

  1. I'm not sure anyone really has everything together at 22 (even those who seem like they do and might think they do), that's the beauty of it, so don't worry.

    I also tried to book on the cat cafe website the other day and couldn't even get on the site because of traffic!

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